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rubiks04 10/23/2011

Roland W-30 : rubiks04's user review

«  A beast of all trades ... 1990;) »

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Features found on the net:

Year of manufacture / Year of release: 1988
Polyphony: 16
Presets: 16 Programs, 96 tones ROM
Keyboard / Keyboard: 61-note
Velocity: yes
Aftertouch: yes
Sound generation method: sampling, DSP on internal waveforms
MIDI in, out, thru
Sound expansion capabilities: yes, floppies or SCSI - (SCSI Called "KW-30" kit)
Effects: no
Controls: Jog Dial
Outputs: Separate eight outputs, headphones
Display: yes, large blue LCD

Sampling 12-bit (read 16 bits) to 15kHz or 30kHz max.

Banks of its size 1.44MB floppy disk (special formatting Roland) hard to find these days, or if not compatible samplers S330 or S550.
With sampling, sounds almost endless ...

A slight lack of polyphony for my taste at the time, a fan of tablecloths and other sounds fairly "long", I had to decide my choice sometimes.


Any use of the W30 through an LCD without backlight. Two dials give the cursor position and the change in value.

Next edition of the sound / sequencer:
Simple, I started without even the doc in French, but a little heavy to go through the menus to change a value ... Inevitably, not very big screen ...

Next music game, very easy to switch instruments, arranged in order of preference of the user! To set the stage, is fast!
However, load time of a disk: to forget between two songs or so, provide a blabla singer for "bridge" the time;)

Manual at the time, provided paper, A4 black and white enough.


Converters of time ... It is better for sure, but I have not much to complain about in terms of quality and rendering dynamic!

No reverb effect (memory) but flange, chorus customizable.

Dynamic impeccable, both in initial strike on the keyboard, in after-touch!
Little regret for the lever that makes the vibrato: on / off. To be paid before playing in the parameters of its use.

Sounds: I had in hand samples Korg M1 (big fat synth of the time) and I was very satisfied compared with listening in store Korg.


I still have the W30 since purchase in 1990 (I write this on 10.22.2011).
While I do not use much anymore, mainly because of time, also by replacement via computer as well.

Peculiarity: 8 mono outputs, one assignable by the output potential effects of dual mono light phase (funny) by shifting the beginning of note. Possible to assign distinct effects on a mixer, then, for each output.

Via MIDI commands easy to configure. Used with Cubase 3 at the time, Atari!

Quality / price ratio at the time, unbeatable if you take the fact that there was everything in the box (sampler, sequencer, floppy drive to copy sounds and sequencer ...), since passed, of course.